I read a lot of audio, video and special events trade magazines (most of them are free) and I have been struck lately by the apparent age of the technicians that are profiled. The average age of most of these technicians seems to be getting much older, an oberservation that is confirmed by my own real world experience. It seems odd that an industry (concert sound) that was only really invented in the 1970’s is graying so fast. It seemed so exciting back in the early days and the desire of young college students and musicians to be part of something with such great potential seemed insatiable. How quickly things have changed.
For many years, our offices were located in a Main Street (literally) storefront, only a few blocks from a major university campus. Just like April showers, I could count on a steady progression of job seekers (both new gradutates and summer job hunters) looking for some opportunity to be in the entertainment business.
During our last several years at that location (we have since moved to larger quarters) this flow slowed to a trickle. With all the opportunities afforded to bright people to make more money in fewer hours with less physical demands really seemed to take the luster off of an opportunity that seemed so exciting to me and many others only 20 or so years earllier.
If the willingness of a young person to get on the tour bus or behind the wheel of a truck is still the path to real innovation in the concert production industry, then we may be in trouble. Most of the innovations that have been realized today (intelligent lighting, line arrays, etc.) came from the real world experience of hands-on techs.
Without the need to solve problems on the fly (the way so may innovative ideas came into being) then new ideas may really become scares.
Got ideas on this subject? Let me know.
GoodBuyGuys.com is your online source for Pro Tapes gaffers tape, Duracell Procell batteries, LED flashlights, Nashua duct tape, Bay State wire ties, Hosa Cables, , OnStage Stand mic stands, and lots of other useful production supplies.